1. AOL to Launch VoIP Services in April
AOL will launch VoIP services to subscribers of its Internet access service in 44 U.S. markets in April. The service will be delivered using Level 3’s network infrastructure and Sonus Networks’ softswitch solution. Level 3 already provides the company with a network backbone for AOL’s dialup net access services. Calling plans or features have not been disclosed, but the company did announce the service would support e911 and local number portability.
AOL launched VoIP services in Canada in December to members and non- members of its access service, offering plans at CDN$39.95 a month for 60 minutes of calling within North America and one at CDN$44.95 a month for 1,000 minutes of calling within North America. The provider is conducting VoIP trials in Europe.
AOL has 22 million subscribers in the U.S.
3. Legerity Unveils New VoIP ICs
Legerity has added new chips to its VE880 VoicePort and VE950 product lines.
In the VoicePort line, the company has unveiled the pin-compatible, programmable Le88211, which supports 2FXS channels in a single device. It supports both tracking or Automatic Battery Switching power supply. The product is designed for use in the development of voice enabled cable modems, DSL modems, gateways, and MTAs.
The Le88211 comes with a complimentary FXO device. The device goes for $4.50 in high volume or $2.25 per line.
In the VE950 line, Legerity has introduced three new SLICs including the Le9500A, Le9500B and Le9500C, all optimized for short-loop, power sensitive applications. They are designed to operate as a VoIP solution when integrated with Broadcom’s CODECs and DSPs.
The Le9500 SLIC devices operate from a 3.3V and a single high voltage supply up to 100V. The devices are offered in 75, 85 and 95V operating battery voltages. They dissipate 31mW in the scan state and 43mW in the active state. The products including differential ringing and differential inputs to support DOCSIS CPE.
The Le9500A is $1.95 per device in high volume. Pricing for the other SLICs was not disclosed.
In other news, Legerity has said that it has licensed StarCore’s DSP technology and that StarCore based products are scheduled to be introduced in the second half of this year.
Arris is one of Legerity’s largest customers. Last year, the chip peddler shipped silicon with capacity for over one million lines of VoIP to Arris.
5. Belkin & iNuntius Launch Wholesale VoIP Service Solution
iNuntius has launched a wholesale VoIP service solution for service providers in North America. The service includes product fulfillment, tech support, customer billing, and corporate training. The service supports a wide range of enhanced end-user features such as integrated voicemail, email, and fax services. Service provider partners are able to customize their offering using a development kit provided by iNuntius.
Recently, the company named Belkin as a new service provider partner using its VoIP solution. Belkin offers its VoIP service via Everywhere.net. Belkin announced last week that Zone Telecom will use its service offering to provide consumer and IP PBX services in New Jersey.
7. Bush Appoints Martin as New FCC Chairman
Following Michael Powell’s resignation this month, President Bush appointed Kevin Martin, a 38 year old attorney, as the new chairman of the FCC. Generally, Martin agreed with Powell on most issues during their stint together in the agency. Notably, Martin supported discounted CLEC access to RBOCs’ networks, while Powell opposed the ruling and Martin has been more in favor of media censorship than Powell. In regards to VoIP, most analysts expect Martin to continue Powell’s agenda of supporting deregulation.
9. Anta Unveils Low-End IP Phone Targeted at SMBs
Anta Systems has introduced EP-636, a low end IP phone targeted at SMBs deploying IP PBX solutions. The SIP/H.323 compliant phone has a 26-button keypad that includes 5 standard programmable function keys. The product has a 5-line, 24- character LCD display supporting caller ID. The phone also includes a hands free speaker for monitoring.
Other features include a LAN bridge consisting of a 2 port 100BaseT Ethernet hub; phone book memory dialing; incoming, outgoing, and missed call logs; management via a menu driven phone keypad and web browser; support for TOS bit; and support for mutliple CODECs.
The phone is available for $49.95.
11. Adelphia to Use Level 3’s Wholesale Service for VoCable
Adelphia Communications, the fifth largest MSO in the U.S., will use Level 3 as its exclusive wholesale VoIP services provider for the cable company’s consumer VoCable services, slated to be launched in a few markets of the provider’s markets this year.
Adelphia has approximately 5.2 million cable customers and 1.4 million high-speed Internet access customers in 31 states and Puerto Rico.